What’s happening: Vivek Ramaswamy was largely under the radar only a few months ago. Now he's ranked third in the GOP presidential polls, facing increased scrutiny as his rising popularity challenges seasoned candidates like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
- Back up: Ramaswamy is a Yale Law graduate and a former pharmaceutical executive, worth over half a billion dollars, according to Forbes. He had worked at a hedge fund before founding a pharmaceutical company in 2014. Some of his past biotech companies were launched out of China.
Immigration: Ramaswamy supports expanding legal migration, potentially allowing a vast number of skilled migrants to take American jobs, a trend increasingly evident in the tech sector. Meanwhile, 73 percent of Republicans prefer to reduce the annual intake of immigrants.
Trade: The candidate criticized former President Donald Trump's choice to exit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an Obama-era global free trade proposal that critics argued would have outsourced jobs and decreased American wages. DeSantis held a similar position, voting to fast-track the TPP when he was in Congress.
- Take note: These two positions starkly contradict Trump's 2016 playbook — shunning global free trade to champion local economies and curbing immigration — which resonated with the Rust Belt and paved his path to the presidency. Upward News reached out to Ramaswamy’s campaign regarding these positions but received no clarification.
Pandemic: During the pandemic, one of Ramaswamy's projects aimed to create a national and global database for all COVID-related patient health records. While facing significant backlash over medical privacy concerns, the initiative managed to collaborate with the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Wokeness: While he describes himself as “anti-woke,” a 2017 letter pushing for more diversity and inclusion in scientific fields had Ramaswamy's signature, though he says he doesn't remember it. He initially endorsed Juneteenth but termed it "useless" two months later. He’s also stated that he would not continue Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military.
Election results: Ramaswamy currently refrains from explicitly stating whether he would have certified the 2020 election, citing election irregularities. However, in his 2022 book, he labeled Trump as the "loser," denounced him for rejecting the election results, and previously acknowledged President Joe Biden as a "legally elected President." He also now blames the protests on censorship.
Globalism: In 2021, Ramaswamy was recognized as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and was also a Soros fellow. Ramaswamy recently sued the WEF for "creating a false perception” of affiliation and denied any formal connections with the organization. He won the lawsuit.